Sunday, 17 August 2008

Portman Group crackdown

Time for the Thought Police to get
serious about those bad beer names

Zak Avery reports on the website Forum that the Portman Group is thought to be pressuring the Sinclair Group to change the name of its Skullsplitter strong ale. As Zak says, the move comes in the wake of the attempt to get Wye Valley Brewery to phase out the use of the curvaceous Dorothy Goodbody image from its labels.
This is mere pussy-footing. Surely the Thought Police can get tougher than this? Who cares if Skullsplitter has a historic Norse connection with Orkney -- if the beer encourages binge drinking in Budleigh Salterton on a wet Wednesday, then clearly the name has to go.
But Skullsplitter and D. Goodbody are only the tip of the well-known cliche. Lets have a real crackdown.
Alehouse Brewery, St Albans: Farmers Joy clearly encourages country folk to get hammered.
Arkell's of Swindon: 2B infringes the copyright of William Shakespeare.
Atomic Brewery of Rugby: Strike, Fission, Fusion, Reactor, Power and Bomb -- all these beer names are banned on the grounds of national security and may encourage the United States to declare war on Iran (or whichever country has upset Dick Cheney today).
Bank Top of Bolton: Bikes, Trikes and Beer encourages people to drink and drive two-wheeled and three-wheeled vehicles while under the influence.
Barearts Brewery in Todmorden is a micro based in an art gallery devoted to nude artwork. They are encouraging lewdness and depravity and should be closed immediately.
Bartrams Brewery in Rougham, Suffolk, is in all manner of trouble. Jester Quick One is clearly an encouragment to onanism while Comrade Bill Bartram's Egalitarian Anti-Imperialist Soviet Stout is an appalling example of political
Beartown of Congleton has a portfolio of beers with bear in the names: Bear Ass, Bearskinful and Black Bear. Is this company attempting to declare war on Russia?
Belvoir Brewery of Leicestershire has a Beaver Bitter that should be sold only from the top shelf while Blue Moon in Norfolk has Liquor Mortis, which is an enticement to drink to death.
In Scotland, Broughton's Old Jock has already been outlawed in the U.S. on the grounds that it sounds like an item of male sporting apparel and the same attitude should prevail here. Also in Scotland, Cairngorm's Sheepshaggers Gold should be consigned to outer darkness on the grounds that sexual activity with animals is unlawful.
Freeminer in the Forest of Dean should be instructed immediately to withdraw its Strip & At It brand as a clear incitement to public indecency. The Garton Brewery in East Yorkshire has a Liquid Lobotomy Stout that suggests drinking it could cause serious damage to the brain, while in West Yorkshire Golcar Winkle Warmer Porter improperly promises an aid to erectile dysfunction.
Two breweries with "great" in their names -- Great Gable in Cumbria and Great Oakley in Northamptonshire -- have beers called Brown Tongue and Gobble respectively, over which we will draw a veil, as so should they. Hambleton of Yorkshire indulges in unpleasant sexual bravado with its Stud and Stallion beers while Houston in Scotland's Blonde Bombshell is an unacceptable example of vulgar sexism. In Cornwall, Keltek's claims that its Cripple Dick is named after an old tin mine is a pathetic attempt to cover up its blatant crudity. As for Leatherbritches Hairy Helmet in Derbyshire...words escape us.
The Nelson Brewery in the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent, brews a Friggin in the Riggin that suggests ungentlemanly behaviour by members of the Royal Navy and brings the service into ridicule and scorn. In Cornwall, Skinner's of Truro has a Cornish Knocker Ale that, along with Slater's Top Totty in Stafford, draws undue attention to the protuberant parts of the female anatomy.
All beers with the term "tackle" in their titles should be withdrawn, as should the several versions of Cole or Coal Porter, which are deemed insulting to the memory of a great popular composer.
In general, it would be best if all beers were simply called "mild". This would ensure the collapse of the entire brewing industry within months, which would solve most of the problems facing modern society.


Anonymous Laurent Mousson said...

Hear hear !!
Excellent piece, Roger !

How long will the Portman Grup, self appointed industry watchdog as it is, keep on dodging the real issues of alcohol abuuse whilst throwing such ludicrous red herrings in every direction ?

How long do they believe they can insult the consumers' intelligence, then ?

18 August 2008 at 11:32  
Blogger Melissa Cole said...

Applaud your attitude here Roger, posted about it on my blog too.

But I'm a bit worried about your list of the naughty beer names, is it not the beer expert equivalent of saying 'Don't tell them your name Pike'! : )

18 August 2008 at 12:18  
Blogger Melissa Cole said...

I've decided I've had enough of this rubbish - please sign this petition

18 August 2008 at 12:46  
Anonymous Sid Boggle said...

I note Portman don't go after colloquial or familiar names of alcoholic beverages such as 'wifebeater', AKA Stella Artois. Nothing sinister about that, probably just a coincidence that Inbev are members and funding them.

I look forward to the day when this group stop using up my valuable air...

18 August 2008 at 19:31  
Blogger Stonch said...

"the move comes in the wake of the attempt to get Wye Valley Brewery to phase out the use of the curvaceous Dorothy Goodbody image from its labels"

Roger, the Portman Group didn't seek to change the Goodbody labelling. Alcohol Concern - a different body - made the complaint to the Portman Group, who rejected it out of hand.

19 August 2008 at 21:49  
Blogger Chela said...

Great Piece indeede. How long will things like this last? I don't understand the Portman Group and their puritan point of view.

Haya Salud

21 August 2008 at 09:48  
Blogger Alebuff said...

I wonder what they's make of the beer called PISS that I sampled the other week in Melbourne !


21 August 2008 at 13:33  

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